How many rounds are in the NFL Draft?

Super Bowl LVIII  Previews, NFL Draft
Super Bowl LVIII Previews, NFL Draft / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is an age-old event in the NFL where football teams can reload on talent by selecting some of the best players at the collegiate level. The first NFL Draft took place all the way back on February 8th, 1936.

These days, the draft is always held near the end of April -- allowing more time for organizations to fill needs in free agency and to provide ample time for scouting at the NFL Combine and various Pro Days.

We have seen how great draft classes can have a major and immediate impact on teams. Each year, new NFL stars are born who have the ability to reshape a fallen franchise. While most of these players come early in the draft, there have been plenty of success stories in the later rounds as well.

Every so often, teams strike gold on Day 2 and Day 3 draft selections that prove to be cornerstones to their team. Some of these players even reach Hall of Fame status by the end of their careers. So how many rounds are in the NFL Draft? Here's what you need to know.

How many rounds does the NFL Draft include each year?

The number of rounds in the NFL Draft has changed over the years. Back in 1936, for instance, the draft consisted of a whopping 20 rounds. In 1940, there were 32 rounds, and later, the rounds in the draft were reduced from 17 to 12.

These days, however, there are just seven rounds in the NFL Draft. This has been the case since 1994, and it isn't likely to change anytime soon. The seven-round system for the draft seems to work well -- especially now that there are more teams in the league than in the early years of the National Football League.

Each NFL team is awarded with their standard seven selections every year (one for each round). These are determined by end-of-the-year standings and where teams finish in the playoffs. Ordering teams with tied records comes down to head-to-head standings, best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, and other various tiebreakers, according to Football Operations.

In addition to the standard seven picks issued to each team, the NFL awards compensatory picks to select teams determined by a proprietary formula that considers a player's salary, playing time, and postseason honors. Draft picks can be traded, and not every team will enter the NFL Draft with the same number of selections.